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1891 NY Big Gorhams

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  • #16
    Originally posted by VIBaseball View Post
    Tony and Paul -- the estimable S.K. Govern managed the Big Gorhams in 1891. Ambrose Davis hired him.

    Plenty of detail on this and other aspects of the team can be found in Michael Lomax's book Black Baseball Entrepreneurs, 1860-1901.
    I will check it out. Thank you.
    "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
    "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

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    • #17
      Originally posted by TonyK View Post
      I recently read two preseason articles that said they would be based out of North Adams, MA one year and Johnstown, NY a different year. If it was true then maybe a local newspaper in either town followed them closely?
      Which years were those?
      I am skeptical but I will be happy to check Springfield newspapers for the season when they may have tried North Adams.

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      • #18
        Guys: go to probaseballarchive.com and search on "North Adams" and "Cuban" -- the North Adams Transcript is part of the package there. In just a couple of minutes, I've already seen several accounts of the Cuban X- Giants playing there in 1897 and 1898.

        Of particular interest is a story from June 1, 1898 entitled "No More Cubans" -- i.e., they left the town at that time.

        Lomax (p. 148) also states that the team established a base there in 1896.

        One point I'd like to resolve is whether S.K. Govern ever managed the X-Giants. Based on my reading of Lomax, he did not. However, he is listed in Riley's encyclopedia, as well as the Negro Leagues Book.

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        • #19
          QUOTE=VIBaseball;1511576]Tony and Paul -- the estimable S.K. Govern managed the Big Gorhams in 1891. Ambrose Davis hired him.

          Plenty of detail on this and other aspects of the team can be found in Michael Lomax's book Black Baseball Entrepreneurs, 1860-1901.[/QUOTE]

          From Michael Lomax's book I note the following for the 1891 CG and Gorhams: Both teams began the season prepared to play some home games in the NYC area against amatuer and semi-pro clubs, plus semi-pro games in the New York Semi-Pro League, and also minor league games in the Connecticut League. They tried to accomplish this by signing extra players and actually having two teams - one for local games against weaker competition, and one for road games in the two leagues they were in.

          George Stovey jumped from the CG to the Gorhams on May 20th beginning the exodus that formed the 1891 Big Gorhams. By July 1st the Big Gorhams had the best players from both teams. The Connecticut League disbanded on 6/15 and the NY Semi-Pro League disbanded on 7/19. This marked the end of black teams participating in minor leagues.

          The 1891 Big Gorhams average attendance at games at leased grounds in the NY City area was 1,089 fans. Admission was 20 cents. Attendance at games outside of the city was lower.

          What I have learned so far is the Cuban Giants and the Gorhams developed a formula for succeeding each season by playing mainly road games against mostly the same teams year after year. Their comical routines began as early as 1885 and every now and then a reporter might comment about some of them. They played as many as 149 games a season and often won between 100 to 124 of them. They also may have won some additional games down in Florida or Cuba in the winter months.
          "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
          "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

          Comment


          • #20
            Thanks, I must read that book. I believe I have it somewhere, still in shrinkwrap.

            Compared with New York in 1891, I feel sure that semipro and amateur baseball were stronger in Chicago around the turn of the century. Nevertheless the colored, professional Unions and Columbia Giants also played many games on the road, beyond the suburbs. Some road trips were about a month long, I believe.

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            • #21
              Originally posted by Paul Wendt View Post
              Thanks, I must read that book. I believe I have it somewhere, still in shrinkwrap.

              Compared with New York in 1891, I feel sure that semipro and amateur baseball were stronger in Chicago around the turn of the century. Nevertheless the colored, professional Unions and Columbia Giants also played many games on the road, beyond the suburbs. Some road trips were about a month long, I believe.
              The book is only 178 pages long but I've had to reread some of it as it is borrowed thru ILL. There is a lot of information about the Chicago area black teams and semipro teams.
              "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
              "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

              Comment


              • #22
                Sol White's numbers are not adding up. He wrote, "they played over one hundred games and lost four." The Big Gorhams first lost to the New Brunswick, NJ semi-pros, then to the University of Vermont, followed by their third loss "over 30 days later" to Glens Falls, NY, and finally to the Little Gorhams according to White.

                By June 14th, 1891, the Gorhams had suffered five losses in the NY Semi-Pro League shortly before it folded. The Gorhams became the Big Gorhams right after that. So if we begin with June 15th, and count 100 days, we come to September 25th (if we assume they had no days off or games rained out). Somewhere during this time frame are the four losses. But they lost to Cape May on 9/1. And then they lost to Camden on 10/2.

                Some of the possibilities are Sol White was wrong about the Big Gorhams won-loss record, or he got the names of the teams mixed up in his book 16 years later, or my timeline is way off.
                "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                Comment


                • #23
                  As the Ansonia representative in the Conn State Lg, I have the Big Giorhams at 8-10 in 1891 before the league disbanded. Is this wrong?

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                  • #24
                    Originally posted by Brian McKenna View Post
                    As the Ansonia representative in the Conn State Lg, I have the Big Giorhams at 8-10 in 1891 before the league disbanded. Is this wrong?
                    Unfortunately I don't know the answer to that. A team known as the Gorhams was routinely beaten by the Cuban Giants as well as teams in the NY City Semipro League prior to June 15th. They probably had a sub-.500 won-loss record. Where did you find the info that they had a 8-10 record in the Conn. League?

                    The Gorhams began signing Cuban Giants players and soon called themselves the Big Gorhams. I don't know the date when this new team began playing games.

                    The point I am making is Sol White wrote that this new team went on to have an incredible 96-4 record but I have already found one loss to a team that he hadn't mentioned in his book. I don't expect to seriously study the Big Gorhams for at least another year or so. If they lost to the Univ of Vermont it should be easy to verify through the campus newspaper. I guess we won't have an answer for awhile.
                    "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                    "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                    Comment


                    • #25
                      1891 Gorhams

                      George Williams, 1B, Capt
                      Sol White, 2B
                      Frank Grant, SS
                      Andrew Jackson, 3B
                      William Selden, P, OF
                      Oscar Jackson, CF
                      George Stovey, P, OF
                      William Malone, P, OF
                      Frank Miller, P, OF
                      Clarence Williams, C
                      Art Thomas, 1B, C
                      George Barton, C
                      Windsor Terrill, SS
                      Henry Gant, RF
                      Ed Woods, SS
                      George Evans, 2B
                      George Freeman, OF
                      Frank Bell, SS
                      Ambrose Davis, RF
                      Ben Holmes, 3B
                      William Dickerson, RF
                      Nat Collins, SS
                      ? Leon, LF
                      Ben Boyd, CF
                      ? Nelson, SS
                      ? Shortz, RF
                      ? Poindexter, P
                      ? Smith, CF
                      Ed Chamberlain, 1B
                      ? Winters, RF

                      The total number of players is 30 so far. I think some of these players also played on the Pittsburgh Keystones.

                      On 8/15/91 the Gorhams shut out the Cape May team composed of mostly Ivy League players 5-0. President Benjamin Harrison (I'm not positive if he was the President in 1891) watched the game up until the 9th inning when he had to leave. William Selden pitched a 6-hit shutout with strong support behind him led by infielders Frank Grant, Andrew Jackson, and Sol White. His teammates made no errors which was a rare occurrence in the 1890's.

                      On 8/20/91 the Gorhams lost to the Univ. of Vermont 3-2 ending a reported 51-game win streak. * Vermont pitcher Bert Abbey struck out 9 Gorhams and gave up only 5 hits. Abbey would pitch in the majors beginning in 1892. His teammate Arlie Pond would also later pitch in the majors.

                      On 8/21/91 the Gorhams lost their second in a row 9-8 to Glen Falls, NY. I'm searching for a boxscore of the game.

                      On 9/1/91 the Gorhams lost to Cape May 3-2.

                      On 9/7/91 the Gorhams lost to the Yonkers Athletic Club 8-5.

                      In October, the team had two losses to Camden and to NY (NL). I suspect Sol White was not considering these games when he wrote about the team's season. White last played for the Gorhams on 9/27 based on research so far.

                      * The winning streak has been reported as 41 games too and the Sporting Life poo-pooed it saying it was against mostly weak amatuer and semi-pro teams.
                      Last edited by TonyK; 02-24-2013, 11:23 AM.
                      "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                      "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                      Comment


                      • #26
                        Today I updated the player list in Post #25 bringing the total now up to 29. This appears to be one of George Stovey's best seasons.
                        "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                        "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                        Comment


                        • #27
                          1891 Cuban Giants Roster:

                          Frank Grant
                          Sol White
                          Clarence Williams
                          George Stovey
                          William Jackson
                          John Nelson
                          Jack Frye
                          Ben Boyd
                          Bob Jackson
                          George Douglass
                          Frank Bell
                          George Barton
                          Windsor Terrill
                          George Evans
                          Ed Chamberlain
                          Frank Miller
                          Eddie Day
                          ? Mulcahy
                          ? Watkins
                          Charles Brown
                          ? Stanton
                          Jim Malson
                          Harry Cato
                          George Freeman
                          Henry Gant
                          Billy Whyte
                          ? Gifford
                          Ben Holmes
                          Job Trusty
                          Nat Collins
                          Abe Harrison
                          ? Paige
                          Ambrose Davis
                          ? Cook
                          ? Baker
                          Yeoman Fisher
                          ? Fager
                          ? Lovill
                          ? Robinson
                          ? Paul

                          Note: Several players were also with the 1891 Gorhams. I suspect Mulcahy was a white semi-pro player on loan by Owner J.M. Bright from his Jersey Blues team for one game on Sept. 13th.
                          "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                          "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                          Comment


                          • #28
                            An update to my last post. I have written an article about the 1891 Gorhams that is on my website tonykisselbaseball.com in the Black Baseball page. Hopefully it answers some of the questions that were asked in this thread. During my research I never came across the name Big Gorhams in any newspaper!
                            "He's tougher than a railroad sandwich."
                            "You'se Got The Eye Of An Eagle."

                            Comment

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